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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Enid Blyton - 6 Things You May Not Know

Enid Blyton

1. Enid Blyton may have died in 1968, but she still remains one of our all-time favourite children's authors. Hodder sells more than half a million of her Famous Five books a year, and they are amongst the most borrowed children's books from public libraries in the UK.

2. George in the Famous Five books was based on a real girl. "The real George was short haired, freckled, sturdy and snub-nosed. She was bold, and daring, hot tempered and loyal. Do you like George? I do."

It is said that Enid Blyton confessed to her literary agent Rosica Collin that George was based on herself.

3. Enid typed her stories out on a typewriter on her knee, either in the garden or in her study. She never learned to touch-type, and used her two forefingers.

4.  At fourteen years old, Enid won a children's poetry competition. It was this success that spurred her on to submit articles, stories and poems to magazines.

5. It is reported that Enid wrote around 800 books during her 40-year career.

6. Between 1942 and 1963, Enid wrote 24 original Noddy books, although the first book, Noddy goes to Toyland, wasn't published until 1949. More than 200 million copies have been sold world wide, translated into 27 different languages.


Enid Blyton was an amazing prolific writer, who wrote books that children loved to read again and again.


26 comments:

  1. Thank you for these facts :-) I am and always have been a huge fan of Enid Blyton :-) x

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  2. These are such interesting facts. My mother was a fan, as I am, and also my daughter too. My daughter also happens to be a Georgina :)

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    1. We have much in common! My mum loves her books, so do I, and my daughter Georgina read the whole Famous Five series within a couple of weeks a few summers ago.

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  3. 800? Wow. And she covered the whole range of childhood. Everyone seems to have a different memory of her books. For me it was Famous Five and Mallory Towers.

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    1. I don't recall reading any Mallory Towers...as you say everyone has their own memories of her books.

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  4. Superb photo and great post Maria.I have 'Noddy A Classic Treasury' which was printed by HarperCollins Children's Books in 2007. Great intro by Gillian Baverstock about her mother and the original artwork too started by Van de Beek. 'Noddy Builds His House' was always one of my favourites. Enid Blyton would finish a Noddy story in two days.

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    1. I'm glad I wrote this post Keith, lots of snippets coming out about Enid, and what she means to writers everywhere.
      I've not seen that book, sounds very interesting.

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  5. In fact my fascination with Enid Blyton and her books as a child would eventutally lead me to write and publishe a book on her, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.thefamousfiveapersonalanecdotage.blogspot.com). Stephen Isabirye

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    1. I think if you're a fan, you do wonder about Enid Blyton, and how she lived her life. Not only as a writer, but also as a woman of her time.

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  6. Wow, awesome post Maria. I remember reading and enjoying her books when I was a kid. Loved them. You brought back some happy memories... thank you x

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    1. Happy memories for many generations of children...Imagine if she were alive now. Awesome to think how many more books she might have written. Would she have been able to satisfy today's child? I think so.

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  7. I grew up on Blyton books. If fact I was so stuck in the Enid Blyton rut that I found it hard to break into more substantial fiction. I did enjoy the world that she created for us but just imagine doing all that writing with a hefty typewriter on your lap!

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    1. I was thinking that, and of course changing all those ribbons! Yuk! I recall using those horrid machines at school, and beyond. I'll stop now as I'm showing my age.

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  8. I still love her books! :D

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  9. The only other writer I've read, in my humble opinion, who has similar qualities is Neil Gaiman.

    I love his easy style, and can lose myself in his character's world's as easily as one can in Enid Blyton's.

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  10. Every week my father would buy me the Enid Blyton magazine. Wish I still ahd them. In a way she taught me to read. I shall always be grateful to her.

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    1. Hi John, I wasn't even aware there was a magazine. I agree I think she helped me learn to read too, and what a shame you don't have those magazines. They would certainly bring back lots of happy memories. Thank you for visiting.

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    2. The magazines came out in the 1950's Enid Blyton parted company from Newnes and Sunny Stories in 1953 and launched Enid Blyton's Magazine with Evans Brothers. The reason for this was that Newnes were only prepared to advertise the books that they published and Enid wanted a much broader field to advertise her books, jigsaws, toys and games. This magazine ran to 162 issues until Enid's failing health caused its closure in 1959. You might find this site of interest - http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/index.php

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    3. Hi Maria
      You might be interested in this web site http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/enid-blytons-magazine.php

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    4. John, this is really interesting. So Enid was a business woman as well as a prolific writer.
      I'll definitely have a look at the links you have supplied. Thank you.

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    5. She certainly was a business woman, which in the 1950's was no mean feat. Incidentally there are a number of E B magazines for sale on Ebay

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    6. Hi John,
      Just had a look at the magazines you mention are on Ebay, surprisingly still quite affordable. Thank you for letting me know.

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  11. I can't believe she died in 1968,I think I started reading her books around that time. I read The Secret Seven books and Mallory towers. I can still remember the thrill of going into town to buy a brand new paperback book, I kept them all in pristine condition, I wonder what happened to them. I'd love to read them again, under the bed covers with my torch.

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    1. I know what you mean - wouldn't it be fabulous to transport ourselves back in time to those innocent days of childhood.

      I never got into the Secret Seven books quite as much as the Famous Five. By the way, you can get all the books on Amazon, and I believe they are also available on Kindle too! Go on...you know you want to.

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  12. Wow! 800 books- I didn't know that- great blog thanks!

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!